Amid a rise in coronavirus cases across India, pending board examinations and competitive tests for engineering and medical colleges are unlikely to be held in July, sources have said.
"Safety of students is paramount. The situation doesn't seem conducive to hold these examinations," sources in the Education Ministry said, adding that some exams may be cancelled and competitive exams like NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Under Graduate) or the JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) are likely to be postponed.
The Supreme Court will hear the matter tomorrow after it sought the centre's reply on a petition filed by some students' parents that sought quashing of the notification for conducting remaining Class 12 examinations.
"An alternate grading system for board examinations is being worked out," sources said, adding that NEET and JEE are likely to be postponed as cancelling them is "not feasible". "The decision will be uniform for the entire country," officials added.
While some states have expressed reluctance in conducting the exams, according to officials in the Education Ministry, the government has also been urged by other states to conduct the examinations only in green zones, which are virus-free.
The state education departments and the Central Board of Secondary Education had submitted their suggestions last week.
In March, the CBSE, the CISCE (Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations) and several education boards had to postpone board exams due to the pandemic.
The CBSE, CISCE exams are scheduled to be held between July 1 and July 15, IIT JEE MAINS for July 18-23 and NEET has been scheduled for July 26.
A nationwide lockdown was announced on March 25 to check the spread of the highly contagious illness. CBSE and CISCE later scheduled examination for postponed papers in July.
In nearly three months, India has crossed the four lakh-mark in COVID-19 cases. Around 2.3 lakh patients have recovered, about 13,000 Covid-linked deaths have been reported.